§ Mr. Alton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the average level of poll tax surcharge levied in the current financial year in(a) England and Wales and (b) the city of Liverpool; what rights he will give to citizens to refuse payment of surcharges; what representations he has received about the Liverpool surcharge; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Robin Squire
The average amount shown under "other adjustments" on 1992–93 community charge bills for English authorities is £22. Of this, £14 is accounted for by the budgeted provision for non-collection of 1992–93 community charges. The corresponding figures for Liverpool city council are £106 and £30 respectively, and I have received a number of letters from citizens of Liverpool about this. Whilst I have considerable sympathy with those chargepayers who have to pay extra for non-collection, I believe it is right that these amounts should continue to be met locally as part of the total charge, in the same way as the equivalent unpaid sums were treated under the old rating system.